3 Easy Science Projects For Kids

October 14, 2014

Science is fun and scientific experiments are great way to introduce your kids to the world of science. There are plenty of easy yet interesting experiments that can be performed at home. Here are 3 easy science projects for kids.

1) Fog Formation

Purpose

To form the fog artificially

Materials required

Procedure

  1. Empty the bottles and rinse them with clean water
  2. Fill the first bottle with cold water (about ¼) and place an ice cube on its neck so that the bottle is sealed tightly.
  3. Fill the second bottle with same amount of hot water and seal its neck with ice cube in similar manner.

Result

As the time passes, fog is started to form in one of the two bottles. Fog is formed in the bottle with hot water whereas the bottle with cold water remains intact. This is due to the physical phenomena of difference in temperatures. Due to the hot water in bottle the temperature of gas in bottle rises and its particles moves upward. But when they come in contact with ice, temperature of gas particles falls and they chance into small water droplets resulting in fog. This experiment involves change in phase i.e gas to liquid and hence covered under chemistry.

2) Demonstrate Capillary Action in Plants

Purpose

This is a colorful experiment to demonstrate how plant draws water for survival.

Materials required

Procedure

Note: all parts requiring a knife, and cutting should be done by an adult or under adult supervision.

  1. Make sure all the pieces of celery are of equal length and long enough to completely fit into the glass. Chop the top and bottom of leafy part so only stalks are left.
  2. Fill all six glasses equally with clean water.
  3. Now add ten drops of red food color to 3 glasses and blue color to other three left.
  4. Place one celery into each glass so that you have exactly six glasses with three blue and three green color.
  5. After two hours remove one celery from both blue and red glasses and peal them carefully. Continue this process at regular interval of 2 hours and note down the observations.

Result

As we peel stalk, a slight change in color is observed. Celery dipped in red color shows red color and blue shows light blue color. However with time the depth of color increases. This experiment shows that plants need water to survive same as any other life form does. Plants get water through their roots and the capillaries allow water to travel throughout the plant. Capillaries have a hollow structure and function as straw; this can be proved from above experiment. The above experiment deals with study of life forms and hence covered under biology.

3) An Easy Homemade Lava Lamp

Purpose

This activity will have you creating your own lava lamp to demonstrate the effect of salt on oil

Materials required

Procedure

  1. Fill about 2/3 of the glass with clean water.
  2. Pour oil into the glass, you will see oil floating over the water.
  3. Add drops of different food coloring, more the better.
  4. Sprinkle 1 spoon of salt slowly into the water.

Result

Amazing color patterns are seen; colorful droplets rise above the bottom of cup similar to the lava. This is due to the fact that salt is soluble in water but oil do not dissolve. When salt is added it takes some droplets of oil with it to the bottom of glass but once the salt dissolves completely these droplets of oil moves upward giving the effect of lava. This experiment is based on densities between water and oil and hence covered under physics.

Technology Careers List

Technology is one of the most promising career paths that you can decide to pursue today. There are so many technology startups that have come up and the trend is likely to continue in future as technology continues to evolve. Graduates with technology related degrees will therefore be in high demand in future. There are many technology related degrees that you can decide to pursue. The following is a technology careers list that you can use to chart your career path.

1. Food Science & Technology

Food science involves the study of chemical, physical and microbiological makeup of food substances. It draws knowledge from other fields such as biochemistry, biology and chemical engineering in an attempt to understand the food processes. This knowledge is then used to improve consumable products for the benefit of the general public.

Food Technology is a branch of Food Science that involves extensive consumable products research and systematic investigations of food compositions and properties. Food Technology principles are used to enable mass production in the food industry.

Having studied food science and technology, your skills will be very useful in food processing and manufacturing industry. Food Technology and Processing is also another useful path that you can take if you want to become relevant in this industry.

2. Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology

This is a field that involves the application of physical, engineering and chemical principles to the study of behavior and analysis of wood products and the processes of conversion of wood into paper products.

As a student in this field, you will study skills such as wood classification, wood testing, processing technologies, product developments and designing of equipments and related systems. Demand for these skills will continue increasing hence a career in this field is very promising.

3. Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology

This is a program that involves application of advanced technologies in construction and design, efficient building operations including lighting, building conservation, retrofitting existing buildings and energy conscious designs. The program draws instruction from environmental control systems, mechanical engineering, civil and structural engineering, computer tools applications, building technology and sustainability.

Architectural and building technology is one field that will continue to grow as the population of the world continues to increase. Individuals and businesses are always trying to improve building conditions and efficiency. Governments will also continue putting in place regulations to ensure safety of buildings. This is therefore a field that can lead to a fulfilling career for those with a passion for architectural and building sciences.

4. Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects

In this program, you learn how to use computer applications to manipulate images and information coming from films, photographs, videos, sound tracks, digital copies and physical objects. Once you learn these, you will be able to communicate massages that simulate contents in real world. Studying this will be advantageous for those who hope to get employment in the media and entertainment industries.

5. Information Technology

Information technology involves the application of telecommunication equipments and computers in storing, transmitting and manipulating data in the context of businesses and other enterprises.

As an IT specialist, companies can hire you as a systems administrator, database manager and many other roles. You could also get a job in consulting firms.

6. Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician

This is a program that prepares you to use computer software and programs in inputting, organizing, verifying, transforming, storing and retrieving information. It draws knowledge from operating systems configurations and data entry applications such as spreadsheets, word processors, database programs, design programs and many other applications.

You will find these skills very useful in research and technological companies as well as any other company that require data entry, analysis and management.

7. Laser and Optical Technology/Technician

Students studying laser technology are taught the principles of optics, laser alignment, electronics and many other advanced laser technologies. As a graduate in this program, you can become electro-optical and laser technician with the ability to repair, test, maintain, calibrate and install medical instruments. You will be able to get employment in instruments manufacturing companies as a photonics engineer or engineering technician.

8. Biomedical Technology/Technician

A biomedical technologist ensures that medical equipments are well maintained, safely functional and properly configured. As a biomedical technologist, you will find employment in clinics, hospitals, private sector companies and even in the military.

9. Instrumentation Technology/Technician

This is a program that enables students to acquire engineering support technical skills in measurements systems, control and procedures. It draws instruction from design and production testing, calibration, automated equipment functioning, instrumentation maintenance and design, reports preparation and many other skills. You will work hand in hand with engineers in providing technical support.

10. Robotics Technology/Technician

This program teaches students technical skills that enable them to give support to engineers involved in the development and use of robots. It involves instruction in the principles of robotics, system maintenance and repair procedures, design and operational testing, specific system types, robots computer systems and many other skills.

There are many other technology based programs that you can specialize in. Many of these programs are in high demand and pursuing them can lead to a satisfying career depending on your dreams and career aspirations.

A List of Careers for Math Majors

If you are considering earning a degree in mathematics, the next question is: what can you do with a degree in mathematics? Here is a basic list of careers for math majors.

Financial Analysis

Financial analysts review the financial sheets of businesses to estimate their future earnings, study macroeconomic trends to project the business’ future earnings and pinpoint products with the greatest profit margin and determine those with the greatest losses. Those who can do quantitative analysis are hired by the private equity industry.

Mathematical Modeling

Mathematical models have been the basis of a number of financial products and have been used to design financial products like mortgage backed securities. Mathematical modeling has more mundane uses like building climate models based on historical data to predict the weather next week or study trends in traffic today to determine what solutions could be implemented to prevent massive traffic jams in ten years.

Mathematical modeling is increasingly integrated with the life sciences field. The mathematical modeling of individual cells or entire organisms is increasingly done in the digital world, allowing experiments to be done virtually instead of on live animals.

Actuarial Science

Actuarial are paid to review the claims history and demographic data of insurance companies. They study the trends in the customer base increases in life expectancy and rising disability rates and then project the impact on the financial outlook of the insurance pool. Actuaries do the in depth analysis that leads to falling life insurance rates as life expectancy rises. Actuaries calculate the costs of changing insurance regulations and price health insurance plans accordingly. Insurance firms like State Farm and Farmers’ Insurance are the primary employers of actuaries.

Accounting

Accounting can be done with a business degree or a math degree with a number of accounting specific courses that teach generally accepted accounting practices and how to use major accounting software applications like Turbotax and SAP’s financial models. Accounting is more than simply tracking expenses, generating invoices and collecting receipts. It also involves determining the taxes owed per quarter (and paying them), determining payroll for thousands of employees, properly routing 401K contributions and processing wage garnishments.

Programming

It is common practice today for programmers to earn a degree in computer science or information systems. Programmers used to earn degrees in mathematics. Those with a mathematics degree and coursework in programming languages like SAS (Statistical Analysis Software), Python and SQL will have ample job opportunities.

Operations Research

Operations research analysts are the people who plan the maintenance schedules, travel schedules and crew assignments for the airport to minimize downtime, maximize throughput and minimize delays. Operations research analysts work with Fedex and other shipping companies to plan the shipping of millions of packages to maximize throughput and minimize delays. These planning operations involve millions of linear algebra equations solved via computer with a variety of constraints, such as manpower and money. While operations research itself is typically taught in the industrial engineering or business department, math majors can find employment in the planning, logistics and operations research departments of many large firms. The primary employers in this field are transportation firms like airlines and shipping companies and shipping services like Fedex and UPS.

Teaching

One of the primary sources of employment for math majors is in the educational field. Teaching kindergarten through twelfth grade requires at a minimum a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in math. Dual degrees in education and mathematics allow you to work in K-12 education or the private sector. A master’s degree is a minimum to teach college level mathematics, whether at a junior college or 4 year university.

Statistics

Math majors with coursework in statistics can find work as statisticians. While the Census Bureau is a major employer for statisticians, they aren’t the only ones. The federal government takes surveys of business owners, the unemployed and others to generate regularly snapshots then expanded to estimate the true state of the economy. The government performs studies on individual household spending to determine how much needs to be allocated to those on SNAP / food stamps and calculates the cost of living based on a basket of goods to determine whether or not Social Security payments will rise with the cost of living.

Statisticians are regularly employed by survey companies to determine which products are most appealing to the targeted audience or which consumers would be most interested in a potential product. Market research is one of the most lucrative employment fields for someone with a degree in mathematics; business pays well for the service, there is constant demand because businesses don’t want to develop a product no one will buy and will pay to better market existing products to the most profitable demographic groups.

Cryptography

Cryptography is the process of hiding information and decrypting it. During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the federal government hired math majors to decrypt Soviet communications. Today, cryptography is much more mainstream. Someone working in cryptography may work for the CIA or NSA decoding encrypted messages, implement stronger cryptography for banks to protect financial transactions or work for the police breaking the layers of secrecy surrounding child porn file sharing networks.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of careers for math majors, but it is a good starting place for those considering what to do with a math major.

The 10 Best STEM Careers

Education in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics is considered indispensible for a modern citizen. No wonder STEM is touted as the hottest topic across the globe. The nation’s dynamic growth and economic prosperity is closely associated with every student’s success in the STEM field. STEM careers are in high demand these days as science and engineering sector has shown sustained growth for more than half a century. It has also been estimated that seven out of ten fastest growing occupations are in the STEM field. As per the studies conducted by the Bureau of labor statistics, STEM careers account for 10% of the jobs in U.S and pay wages double the U.S average pay scale.

Best Stem Careers List

STEM Careers1) Petroleum Engineer

They must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably petroleum engineering. However candidates with mechanical engineering or chemical engineering are also hired. Employment opportunities for petroleum engineers are expected to grow by 26% from 2012 to 2022. This is indeed much faster when compared to other occupations. Petroleum engineers quench the world’s endless thirst for oil and hence command high salaries. As per the data released by the Bureau of labor statistics in the year 2011 the average salary of a petroleum engineer is $138, 000 per annum.

2) Nuclear Engineer

To become a nuclear engineer you should possess a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering. However, employers value experience also. Employment opportunities are estimated to grow by 9% from 2012 to 2022. In the year 2012, the bureau of labor statistics revealed that the median annual salary of a nuclear engineer was $104, 270.

3) Marine Engineer

For entry level jobs a person need to complete a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering. Job opportunities in marine engineering are estimated to increase by 17% between 2010 and 2020. According to the reports furnished by the BLS in the year 2011 the annual average salary for marine engineers was $91, 730.

4) Chemical Engineer

To become a chemical engineer a person requires an education in chemical engineering at either the undergraduate level or graduate level. The BLS has predicted that the need for chemical engineers will shoot up by 6% from the year 2010 to 2020. It has also estimated the annual median salary for a chemical engineer for the year 2012 as $94, 350.

5) Computer and Information Research Scientist

In order to become a computer and information research scientist a candidate must have completed his PhD in computer science or related field. Job opportunities for a computer scientist are projected to grow by 15% from 2012 to 2022. The median annual salary for a computer and information research scientist was estimated at $102, 190 in the year 2012.

6) Aerospace Engineer

An aspiring candidate must successfully complete a bachelor’s degree in aerospace or aeronautical engineering from an accredited institution. As per the studies conducted by the BLS the job prospects was estimated to increase by 7% from the year 2012 to 2022. Aeronautical engineers are expected to take home a median annual salary of $105, 450 as per the data published by BLS in the year 2013.

7) Marine Architect

To become a marine architect a person has to possess a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering or naval architecture or marine systems engineering or marine engineering technology. Job opportunities for marine architects are expected to grow by 10% from 2012 to 2022. As per the results published in 2012 the median annual salary for a marine architect was $88, 100.

8) Nuclear Medicine Technologist

To become a nuclear medicine technologist the candidate has to a successfully complete an associate degree in nuclear medicine technology. Career prospects are projected by 20% from 2012 to 2022. Similarly the annual median salary for a nuclear medicine technologist was estimated by BLS as $70, 180 in the year 2012.

9) Business Intelligence Analyst

The applicant needs to possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information science. Job openings in this rare specialty are expected to grow by 22% from 2010 to 2020. The median annual salary for a business intelligence analyst is estimated at $79, 680 in the year 2012.

10) Software Developer

In order to become a software developer the person should possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. The BLS has estimated a drastic employment growth of 32% from 2010 to 2020 and a median annual salary of $99, 000 in the year 2012.

From the above discussed data it is apparent that the fastest growing and highest paid jobs fall under the STEM field category. If you are considering a career in the STEM field the above information will be highly useful.

What Is STEM?

Basically STEM is an academic field in higher learning. It consists of four core subjects. The subjects are, science, technology engineering and mathematics. Any degree in these four subjects grouped as STEM is therefore referred to as a STEM degree. The modern world is in dire need of STEM degree graduates. New institutions are being developed each day to specialize in offering STEM courses and the preexisting universities are working hard to improve in this field in terms of study facilities, research and teachers. These courses are basically aimed towards technological growth which is a key to any modernized society’s development.

Careers in STEM

One of the fields with the highest number of job positions in the modern world is STEM. In exception of medical sciences, it involves all other science and engineering disciplinary programs such as computer sciences, information sciences, geo sciences physical sciences and mathematical sciences, biological sciences, engineering, environmental sciences among others. STEM is therefore a broad field and jobs are dependent on an individual specific degree choice. Most institutions start preparing their students for the STEM courses some years before college and most governments are facilitating this too.

Why STEM Has The Best Jobs

Currently STEM has some of the highest paying jobs all over the world. Several departments and sectors such as commerce department, transport department, engineering department among others are coming up with new jobs for STEM degree graduates. The sectors include automotive, energy, healthcare, information and geospatial technology among others

Most countries understand that STEM graduates hold a very major role in achieving sustainable growth of their economies and are working day in day out to make sure their institutions bake the best students who don’t necessarily have to rely on employment but also be the job makers and promising investors.

UNCF research shows there is likely to be a big labour deficit in between 2016 and 2021 and afterwards due to the high retirement rate of workers in the STEM. There is hence expected to be hundreds of job opportunities that have to be sealed hence students in the field currently have a bright career future. The rate at which new jobs especially in technology are increasing may course a big workforce deficit if more graduates in the subjects don’t get into the job market soon.

Teachers in the STEM field also have high chances of getting well-paying jobs. Most universities and colleges are having their teachers broaden their knowledge so to cope with the rapid rate at which the STEM field is growing. United States looses an estimated 30000 teachers in the field yearly. Some teachers also lack much exposure to the current STEM. To meet the STEM field requirements, the government will have to employ more than 240000 teachers in the next ten years.

No specific definition is given to STEM jobs hence giving an estimate of expected income may be a bit difficult. However, any course in the STEM field is among the most promising in the world currently and all you would need, is a competent degree and adequate interpersonal skills to strengthen it. Who knows? You might be the next person to bring a multibillion idea to the world too.

STEM Majors List

Below, you will find a current list of the available STEM Majors as of 2014.

Source: ICE.gov

How To Build Your Own Computer: Hardware Overview

Computers might seem complicated for average users. Opening up a case will reveal a plethora of cables of different sizes and shapes, components that go into other components, coolers and other parts that make it all seem very complicated. This inconvenient aspect forces simple users to shop for brand computers that come already assembled. Truth be told, with just a little bit of knowledge, building a computer is fun, easy and cheaper. The secret lies in the parts and the most important task is choosing the right ones.

The CPU

computer hardware tower and monitorThe core of every computer and the bread and butter that will power the entire machine and determine its performance is the CPU. However, going for an expensive one is not always the best choice. A gamer will surely need something powerful with at least four physical cores. An average user that only focuses on productivity tools and web browsing will find that a modest dual core CPU can do the job just right.

The Motherboard

Motherboards will host all other components. In order to get it right it is highly important to match the motherboard’s socket to the CPU socket. This will ensure that the parts are compatible and unpleasant situations in which a product must be returned is avoided. In terms of performance, gaming motherboards tend to be more expensive. They usually go from $100 to $500 or more depending on chipset and features. The best ones feature SLI or Crossfire technologies which enables the user to mount two graphics cards to boost the performance of games.

For less resource hungry applications, a going for a motherboard priced at $50 to $90.

The HardDrive

Computers store data on Hard Drives or HDDs and the more space the better. Unfortunately, performance is expensive. Traditional HDDs tend to be slower but have a better price per gigabyte. Users interested in photo and video editing, gamers and hardcore coders might want to get an Solid State Drive or SSD for faster loading times. They do not improve the visual performance of games but the can reduce the loading times to 25%. Video and photo editors will notice the same kind of performance boost. Regular users that focus only on browsing and office applications should go for a HDD as it is much cheaper.

The Video Card

Unless the system is designed for a gamer or 3D graphic artist, the onboard Video Card or Graphics Card that is embedded in the CPU is enough. No money needs to be invested in this component. The ones that do want performance to play games should invest some money into one.

The RAM (Random Access Memory)

The only applications that can consume a lot of RAM are games and video/photo editing software. Everything else can work just fine with a single board of 4 GB(gigabytes). From a performance perspective, quantity matters. At least 8 GB are recommended for resource hungry games and programs. Brands are not important and compatibility is not an issue for this computer part.

The CPU Cooler

When purchasing a CPU, a cooler would be required to make sure that it does not overheat. Most vendors offer Box versions of processors that contain a cooler but for overclockers and gamers, an aftermarket cooling solution is highly recommended. For extreme performance tweaks and system stability, liquid cooling is the best option out there. The liquid user is completely safe and even if it is spilled on the components it will not damage them.

The Case

Computer cases have no restrictions or compatibility issues. It is all up to the user which case he likes and affords. Internal space might be a selection criteria for some. The bigger the case the more space the user will have for cable management and additional coolers. Users that want something fancy might want to check the ones that have a side window which makes it possible to see inside even when it is closed.

The Power Supply

The Power Supply or the PSU is the most disregarded component. It plays an important role and getting a cheap one can cause the system to be unstable. Users with no aspirations for high performance, multiple hard drives, two or more video cards and additional case coolers should get a 500 Watt PSU. For gaming systems, at least 600 Watts is required to avoid sudden computer power downs at high load.

The Sound Card

Even if it is not a vital component as all motherboards have a sound card embedded by default, some users might want to get a dedicated sound card for a better fidelity. The audio quality difference is notable but sometimes it is not worth spending the money.

Additional Accessories And Tuning

Just like a car, computers can be tuned and customized with various parts such as additional case fans with leds, RAM coolers, HDD coolers, aftermarket cooling solutions, dedicated sound card and so on.

What Is The Polymerase Chain Reaction?

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a revolutionary method used to analyze and amplify short DNA (or RNA) sequences in a sample with small quantities of RNA or DNA. PCR amplifies the selected sequence of DNA segment producing millions of copies within a few hours. Initially, DNA or RNA amplification involved cloning the selected segment using bacteria. This took weeks to amplify. But with PCR, it only takes few hours to produce millions of DNA sequence of interested.

Polymerase chain reaction requires the following components

How is PCR done?

Three major steps are involved in polymerase chain reaction. Done in an automated thermal cycler, also called a PCR machine, these three steps are repeated for 30 to 40 cycles with each cycle producing a new strand of DNA. The automated cycler is a device that heats and cools the test tubes contain the sample mixture in a repeated cycle. The cooling and heating process is essential since the three steps takes place at a different temperature.

These three steps are

  1. Denaturation: A temperature of 94 C (201.2 F) is applied to the original double-stranded DNA molecule so as to open it into two pieces of single-stranded DNA
  2. Annealing: At a temperature of 54 C (129.2 F), the primers in the reaction mixture anneal or pairs up with the single-stranded DNA template (the sequence to be copied). Starting from the primers, the polymerase attaches and starts copying the template.
  3. Extension: At a temperature of 72 C (161.6 F), the DNA building blocks or nucleotides which are complimentary to the DNA template of interest are coupled to the primers. This produces a double-stranded DNA molecule.

Within one amplification cycle, a single double-stranded DNA template is copied and amplified resulting into two separate double-stranded DNA segment. The two new DNA segments now will be available for the next amplification cycle and as the cycles continue, more and more copies of double-stranded DNA segment will be generated thus increasing the number of interested template.

How was PCR discovered?

Polymerase chain reaction technique was invented by Kary Mullis in 1985 when he was working in Emeryville, California for a biotechnology company known as Cetus Corporation. The PCR technique allowed scientist to make millions of DNA or RNA copies from a sample that has minute quantities of DNA or RNA.

Since then, the PCR has revolutionized many aspects of scientific research including;

The widespread and innumerable uses of PCR have made it to become an important tool for use in DNA forensic laboratories among other laboratories that analyze, detect and study genetic materials either in animals or human.

Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction

Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is a technique that is highly sensitive and used to detect and quantify the messenger RNA (mRNA). It consists of two main parts;

This technique is used to measure viral load in HIV patients and to detect other RNA viruses such as mumps and measles.

What Is ATP Testing?

ATP testing is used for measuring the growing microorganisms by using adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for their detection.

ATP is an energy molecule found in living cells, which gives a direct measure of their health and biological concentration. ATP can be quantified by using a luminometer for measuring the light produced through its reaction with the enzyme luciferase.

ATP tests are useful for:

The first generation ATP tests were derived from hygiene monitoring applications and therefore the samples were relatively free of interferences. The second generation tests are designed specifically for industrial applications, wastewater, and water. In the second generation ATP tests the samples contain, for the most part, a variety of interfering components.

There are two types of ATP within a water sample containing microorganisms:

  1. Extracellular ATP, which is located outside of biological cells. The extracellular ATP has been released from stressed or dead organisms.
  2. Intracellular ATP, which is contained inside the living biological cells.

It is important to perform accurate measurements of these two types of ATP in order to assess biological health and to control water and wastewater processes.

ATP bioluminescence tests have moved mainstream. They are also used in the food industry in order to keep food manufacturing clean. The tests are a reliable, simple, and rapid way to monitor surface contamination in the food industry and to detect contaminants in beverages or drinking water. For surface contamination testing it is used a pen like device which is swabbed over the tested area, then inserted into the handheld reader called relative light unit or RLU, on short. The results are displayed within seconds and can indicate if the sample is clean or unclean. The tests are cheap, as they cost only a few dollars per test. The ATP methods only give a broad indication of the presence of organic substances and not specific microorganisms containing ATP. For this reason they need to be used together with microbial culture tests in order to indicate the type of microorganisms present in the sample.

Using surface ATP bioluminescence testing in the food industry is a proactive tool to assure the processing equipment is clean. It is estimated that 80 percent of the food production facilities in North America and more that 80 percent in Europe are using this ATP testing technology for sanitation monitoring and validation of whether the processing equipment is clean enough to be used for food production.

The widespread adoption of ATP testing resulted from a few important advances in the technology. The instrumentation increased in performance and utility and decreased in size and price. The chemistry improved to the current use of synthetic enzyme that is more temperature tolerant and robust. The ATP testing technology is much easier to use today than it was twenty years ago. The handheld testing devices have a weight of just about a pound. The modern ATP testing devices also include software and in many cases they can be linked to databases in order to help the production managers in the decision making process. It is estimated that the ATP testing will soon spread on new markets such as fast food, hospitals and health services.

ATP Testing Kits

Hygiene monitoring is critical when it comes to HACCP compliance. It is common for industries like prepared and processed foods, beverage and dairy to enroll in a HACCP program. Without proper hygiene monitoring by using atp testing kits or other means, there could be many quality issues.

A manufacturing company in any of the aforementioned industries might not only lose its image but end up with a huge loss if there was ever a product recall. With effective hygiene monitoring during food or beverage production, right from the beginning of the process till the end, there is hardly any possibility of product contamination. One of the best methods for contamination testing right now is ATP testing. This method of testing is so simple that anyone, even a person without any scientific background can carry out the test.

In addition, the test results are almost immediate, with some brands of luminometers giving the results in less than 15 seconds without any effect on accuracy at all. ATP or adenosine triphosphate is evident in all living animals and plants including microorganisms like bacteria, mold and yeast. It is actually a molecule which resides within the cell of a living being. So the presence of ATP in water, blood, food or such samples prove the existence of some kind of microorganism in the sample. In other words, there is some level of contamination.

When it comes to an atp testing kit, it normally comprises of cotton swabs and a handheld or portable luminometer. To begin with, the tester should wear a pair of suitable gloves. The type of gloves depends on where he is working. Then he uses a cotton swab to swab the necessary sample, food, water or anything else. The cotton swab is then put into a removable chamber, which is later inserted back into the handheld luminometer.

The reading on the device is usually in RLU or Relative Light Units. Since ATP transfers chemical energy within the cell, the concept of quantified energy presence is used. The reagent in the chamber has an enzyme called luciferase, which reacts with ATP. The ATP energy is then quantified in the form of light and measured in RLU. A higher RLU reading is an indication of more ATP presence, which means a higher level of contamination.

Currently, there are various brands of atp testing kits on the market. They vary in prices but generally, such a kit costs around $1500 on the market. Compared to sending samples for testing somewhere or establishing an internal laboratory to check on product contamination, buying this kind of kit is definitely more cost effective. Moreover, a great deal of time and energy can be saved. The test results are almost immediate and accurate.

Any layman can use this device, even the cleaner. Testing the contamination level of production, testing or surgical equipment surfaces after cleaning is a smart move to reduce the possibility of contamination. If the contamination level is high, then another cleaning can be done. So atp testing kits are useful not only for monitoring contamination of products during manufacturing but also for cleaning purposes at hospitals and such.

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